Even with all the care and products we put into our skin, there's always a reminder that we are in fact human, and aging skin is just a natural and unavoidable reminder of getting older. External factors like UV and sun damage, stress, pollution, and yes, genetics, can all speed up that process.
But there is a solution to delaying it. Radiant skin doesn't have an expiration date, as long as you can keep it healthy and protected. Starting with the tried and true, essential oils can be used in a variety of ways in your beauty, body, and home wellness routines. It even has skin-tightening benefits for youthful-looking skin.
When chosen and used correctly, essential oils can be invaluable skincare ingredients, but there are just a few things to keep in mind. "Since essential oils are not regulated, anything and everything can be found in that bottle. Be careful of where you buy it from. Also, non-organic sources can contain oil sprayed with pesticides and contaminants," says Julie Botton, an Institute for Integrative Nutrition–certified health coach and DoTerra wellness advocate. And when using topically, make sure to safely diffuse the essential oil in a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil, jojoba seed oil, or sweet almond oil to avoid any irritation.
"Essential oils have been used for centuries to address and support physical, emotional, and spiritual concerns. They are the volatile molecules found in the cells of aromatic plants—the lifeblood of plants. We extract them by steam distillation and physical expression of raw plant matter," shares Tara Pelletier, co-founder of Meow Meow Tweet. "The right amount of them can balance congested skin, soothe a headache, stimulate uterine contractions, or ease anxiety. The wrong amount can cause skin irritation and other adverse or unwelcome side effects. They are powerful and should not be underestimated!"
Whether you have dry, dull, or mature skin, you might be surprised at how potent these essential oils can be in bringing out the very best of your skin, no matter your concern. Here are our favorite 10 essential oils that will keep your skin looking tight, balanced, and nourished.
1. Sweet Orange
Just as orange brightens up your palette and mood, it does the same to your skin. Acting as a protective antioxidant, skin brightener, and collagen production stimulation, the vitamin C in orange essential oil is a great option to achieve glowing skin. Extracted from the rind of an orange, the concentrated oil is beneficial for maintaining the health, appearance, and texture of skin by promoting clarity, radiance, and smoothness.
This antioxidant-rich blend also fights free radicals and environmental toxins for skin that looks radiant and youthful. Powerful botanicals enhance cellular turnover and promote elasticity, to firm the skin and diminish visible imperfections, like scars, sun damage, and stretch marks.
2. Juniper Berry
Detoxifying and full of antioxidants, juniper berry essential oil is known as a natural healer. It works to repair and strengthen the epidermis, allowing it to defend itself from impurities that can damage the skin and cause premature aging.
Used cosmetically or topically in general, geranium essential oil is reputed to effectively eliminate dead cells, tighten the skin, promote the regeneration of new skin, and diminish signs of aging. Because geranium oil is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory oil, it actively boosts the skin's health and natural glow. By helping the skin stay conditioned, and soothing irritated or breakout-prone skin, it fights against harsh weather conditions or environmental stressors.
Found in the natural SkinOwl Geranium drops, geranium oil naturally firms up facial skin and is used dermatologically to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Because it naturally tightens skin without reducing moisture and suppleness, it minimizes many of the common signs of aging skin. Used regularly, ideally in a blend with other botanicals, it can have a rapid and noticeable effect on those pesky wrinkles.
A deeply hydrating face oil formulated with sustainable and minimally processed natural ingredients high in antioxidants, phytosterols, vitamins E, C, A, and K, and omegas 6 and 9 to fight free radicals and fortify skin is the key to healthy hydration. The lightweight blend of geranium, marula, evening primrose, and avocado oils fortifies skin with lasting nourishment.
4. Plum Seed Oil
This fully sustainable face oil derived from organic plums upcycled from the founder's fourth-generation family farm captures the many antioxidant and healing benefits of the all-powerful plum.
This formula contains kakadu plum, an Australian superfruit that contains more Vitamin C than an orange. It's also a powerful concentrate of antioxidants and vitamin E. Plus, the niacinamide in this works to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, brighten, and plump to reveal radiant, hydrated, even-toned skin.
5. Pine Needle
Pine essential oil is a derivative of pine tree needles, which are known for their strong aroma and centuries-old use in traditional medicine. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting ingredient, and when used topically, it has skin-tightening benefits.
The aromatics of this pine bath oil takes you back to its source of the Austrian Alps. Locally-sourced pine and spruce needles are known for their skin-soothing properties, as well as the invigorating benefits on the mind and body. Combined with warm water, the bath oil relieves any muscle tension and leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated. It's a true treat of an experience.
The antibacterial properties of sage provide balance and hydration to skin; diminish the appearance of blemishes; and address stretch marks, sores, and swelling. Its moisturizing and conditioning properties help soothe dryness and irritation.
The Sage Cleansing Oil from Monastery melts off makeup, pollutants, and impurities while keeping the skin balanced and nourished. The invigorating antibacterial oil is full of herbal essential oils including sage, hinoki cypress, and greek coriander. It will balance sebum production, without stripping the skin of its natural protective oils.
"We chose essential oils like coriander, sage, and hinoki for their high cell-activating and antibacterial properties. These oils stimulate and heal, simultaneously awakening the cells in a gentle way," says founder and esthetician Athena Hewett.
7. Camellia Seed Oil
One of the several benefits of camellia seed oil is that it’s loaded with skin-perfecting nutrients such as Omegas 3 and 6 that help to preserve the youthful glow of your skin and combat aging signs. As an important source of plant collagen and squalene, it's an essential part of the skin’s hydration and protection system, especially since collagen decreases with age.
The hydrating formula of this moisturizer contains phyto-peptides, white tea extract, and camellia essential oil which improves skin elasticity to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It contains free radical damage-fighting antioxidants, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid to help restore the skin's natural hydration, leaving it looking visibly smoother and more radiant.
8. Ginger Root
Miami-based board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dr. Loretta Skincare, Loretta Ciraldo, MD, FAAD, shares that as an antioxidant, ginger "lessens pore size at the skin surface and increases blood circulation."
"Our Dr. Loretta Gentle Hydrating Cleanser is great to use as a mask, leaving it on for two to three minutes and then washing off to soothe the skin and boost antioxidant protection," Ciraldo says. The richly textured gel of the cleanser is an effective anti-pollution formula that leaves skin silky smooth, hydrated, and tight without stripping any of its natural oils. The all-in-one cleanser and makeup remover is gentle enough for sensitive, rosacea, and post-procedure skin.
Dubbed as the king of all essential oils, frankincense is a natural astringent. From acne to wounds, to stretch marks and scars, this oil can heal imperfections and rejuvenate damaged skin.
This product is a protective oil for maturing skin, and it contains chamomile and frankincense essential oils that repair and protect the skin. "Made to address damage from environmental stressors, this lush oil improves elasticity, reduces inflammation, and helps skin retain moisture. It's nutrient-dense and soaks in without feeling greasy. The scent is honeyed and floral and the texture is silky," shares Pelletier.
This concentrated formula contains 22 nutrient-rich botanicals, essential oils, skin-beautifying vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids for restorative moisture and revitalize to support a healthy, radiant complexion.
Rosemary oil can hydrate the skin, control oil production, and act as an antibacterial. This cream from Saint Jane contains a lightweight blend of 10 floral essences, including rosemary. Together with hibiscus seeds, it boosts elastin. It also contains hyaluronic acid for intense all-day moisture, so the skin stays radiant and soft.
The Body Balm from Osea acts as a two-in-one. It's an ultra-silky body balm that intensely nourishes and promotes firmer skin. It has the lasting hydration of a lotion with the anti-aging benefits of a serum. Ingredients include omega fatty acids, sea minerals, antioxidants, and essential oils (like rosemary).
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.